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this is a space dedicated to celebrating the women who inspire us online.

Candace Molatore

Candace Molatore

Today we're sharing a look into the life of Candance Molatore. Candace is a photographer, student, aspiring French Bulldog parent, and we’re calling it now — a future award winning creative advertiser, based in Portland Oregon. Read along as Candace shares her story with Gurl Crushes, and gives advice on those who want to follow in her footsteps.

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You're quite the accomplished photographer! What's been the coolest thing/person you've photographed?

Thank you! I've been working in Photography for a little over 3 years now and have had the opportunity to photograph some cool things for some even cooler people. 

I would say the best experience I have had so far is photographing Sasquatch Festival in the Summer of 2016. I'm a huge fan of music and go to festivals as often as I can. Very few festivals compare to Sasquatch. You've got the friendliest people and some of the most talented artists all together in one of the most beautiful venues in the world. It's pretty hard to beat!


Speaking of cool people, we heard you worked with rapper Ice Cube. Were you star struck? He seems like such a great dude!

That was such a crazy day! He was performing at Project Pabst last summer (2016). Not long after Straight Outta Compton was released, so the N.W.A. hype is in full effect. Of course he was a headliner so you're waiting all day and just hoping you get a great spot in the pit to get your shot. Once you're in there, it's like you know you have to get your shot, but Ice Cube is also right there less than 10 feet away from you. Even security guards were taking selfies with him in the background. The energy he brings onstage is immeasurable!

How did you get into photography? Any defining moments that jump started your love?

I picked up a camera for the first time shortly after graduating high school. A lot of my high school friends left town for college, but I stayed in town for school and decided to discover more of what Portland had to offer. I started a small blog as a way to chronicle my life at that time. (It has since evolved into my portfolio website) Instagram was also just becoming a thing then, people were beginning to see the potential but no one was really making money from it yet. I networked a lot that year and everyone I met would tell me that they liked the photos I would share between my blog and my Instagram account. Their comments were what inspired me to pursue photography more.

There definitely were a few defining moments in there! I landed a contract with 94.7fm about a year and a half ago. Working with them made me realize how much I loved concert photography and documenting some of my favorite artists. The first time I saw my photos in print was also a really surreal moment!

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Is photography your full time job, or is it more of a side-hustle?

I'm currently finishing up my Advertising degree. I'd say Photography is more of a side-hustle for me, but has become full-time off and on. I take a lot of jobs in the summertime when I'm off of school, but a bachelors degree is my main focus right now.


You've got an unlimited gift card to any camera store. What do you buy?

 I'm running to Pro Photo supply and immediately picking up a Canon 5D Mark IV. I might also grab some new batteries and SD cards, can never have too many!

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We know you're based in Portland, Oregon. What do you love most about your city?

Portland is a relatively young city. We are growing so much right now and with some growing pains comes a lot of innovation. I love the idea that the people and businesses that pop up here can have a huge impact on what this city will be for generations to come. I feel like I could make more of an impact here than I could in somewhere like LA or NYC.


Ideally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I'll be 27. I would love to be living somewhere in SE with a French Bulldog puppy. Most importantly I see myself happy, hopefully employed. Definitely still pursuing my creative side somehow. #MillennialGoals


If you weren't doing photography, what would you be doing?

I would probably be doing something in my field of study, working or interning at an Ad agency.

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If you could give advice to women following in your footsteps, what would it be?

Be yourself. The creative field is full of seriously amazing people. While it is fun to network and pick people's brains, it is also very easy to compare yourself. The only times I have really seen success or "breakthrough" moments with my work is when I am being completely and unapologetically myself through that work. I would also say it's okay to take breaks. As creatives, and especially as women, people expect us to want to have it all. We put pressure on ourselves to be on 24/7. Sometimes you're just not feeling it and that's totally fine! The important thing is to recognize when you're going through those periods of being uninspired or needing to take a step back, that's when the growth happens.


Finally, it's clear to see that you are an inspiration to many women. Where do you find your inspiration from? Any Gurl Crushes out there?

Literally the entire team at Glossier is killing it right now. From a branding standpoint they are marketing goddesses. I was invited to a dinner they hosted in Portland recently and they told me I had great skin, so they are forever in my heart. Also, Rihanna because she is unapologetically herself and her new makeup line is everything to me.


To keep up with Candace online, you can follow her Instagram here, as well as her website.

Natalie Allen

Natalie Allen